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Perseverance mission

Date: 31 July 2020 Tags: Space


NASA launched its Mars Perseverance Rover on July 30 at 17:20 IST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.



The main aim of the Mars Perseverance Rover is to seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for a possible return to Earth. The duration of the mission is expected to be at least one Mars year which is equivalent to 687 days on Earth.



  •  Perseverance will carry a unique instrument, MOXIE, or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment: which for the first time will manufacture molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere.

  • Perseverance will carry Ingenuity, the first-ever helicopter to fly on Mars. This is the first time NASA will fly a helicopter on another planet or satellite.

  • Mars helicopter can help in rover drive planning and in fetching samples from locations that the rover cannot safely drive to.

  • Perseverance is the planned first step to bring back rock samples from Mars for analysis in sophisticated laboratories on Earth: with the goal of looking for bio-signatures: or signatures of present or past life.

  • Perseverance will collect samples and a second rover mission will fly within a decade to help transport the rock samples back to Earth.


Significance of rovers

  • Rovers provide a way to study the local area in much higher resolution than is possible from an orbiting spacecraft.

  • In addition, rovers have a suite of instruments from drills to spectrometers to microscopic imagers. These instruments help understand the local geology much like a field geologist would study rocks on Earth.

  • In addition, starting with Spirit and Opportunity, rovers have acted as mobile weather stations on Mars that monitor changes in the Martian atmosphere continuously over multiple years.

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